This week, the US Supreme Court decided not to hear the most recent appeal filed by Enron Corp’s former CEO Jeffrey Skilling to have his criminal conviction overturned. The justices offered no comment for why they decided not to review the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling that turned down Skilling’s legal challenge.
A Houston jury had convicted Skilling in 2006 on 19 criminal counts for his role in orchestrating the massive corporate fraud crime that led to the demise of the energy trading giant. Over 4,000 company employees found themselves out of work when Enron filed for bankruptcy in 2001. Many of them lost their life savings. Meantime, investors sustained losses in the billion of dollars. (In 2008, Enron investors and shareholders received their respective shares of over $7.2 billion from financial institutions accused of playing a part in the company’s collapse. Some 1.5 million entities and people were eligible.)
Prosecutors had accused Skilling of taking part in a scam to inflate Enron’s share price by concealing the company’s true financial shape from the public. They claimed that he engaged in accounting tricks, “hocus-pocus, trickery… half-truths… and outright lies.” Although Skilling was convicted of securities fraud, insider trading, making false statements to auditors, conspiracy, and other crimes, he maintains that he didn’t commit any crimes. He also contends that he never attempted to profit from Enron’s collapse. Skilling is currently serving a sentence of over 24 years in prison.